Mens Hamsters v. Gerrards Cross 2s – 28.02.15 – Match Report

OHC Hamsters v Gerrards Cross 2XI: 0-5

The current Mindfulness fad would probably tell us that one should live in the moment and look for something positive in each day. That’s rather difficult on a grey, rainy, windswept day such as the one that formed the backdrop to today’s foray down the M40 to GX. However, with Mr Bence – a kind of random entertainment generator – in the car, the miles just fly by and before long we arrived at the ground. Well, most of us arrived, as Sath had taken a detour and was nowhere to be seen at the start of the game. Unfortunately, he had Gimli with him as well so the Captain had to undertake a hasty re-planning exercise.

In the first five minutes, our re-jigged formation held the youthful GX side at bay but this was as good as it got. No sooner were up to full strength than we found ourselves 0-1 down after a cruel deflection beat Mr Bence. Another deflection in our D resulted in a second GX goal. For a while we almost managed to get back into the game and, momentarily, we thought we had gained a goal back from a short. However, the umpires deliberated and the goal was disallowed and a further short awarded. Being well brought up young men, none of the Hamsters questioned the decision, although it was a bit odd, to say the least. 0-2 at half time.

Hopes of an improvement in the second half were short lived. Whist we may have been unlucky with the first two goals, there was no luck involved in GX’s well-taken third goal from open play. A forth was added from a short, and GX sealed an emphatic win with a stylish fifth and final goal.

Without wanting to take anything away from our skilful young opponents, this was beyond doubt our worst game of the season. Quite what the Mindfulness book would make of this, I’m not sure, but by way of some consolation GX served up the best tea of the season at their delightfully appointed clubhouse.

Lastly, a word must be said about our manager for the day, JJ. Having found spectating too cold last week, this week he arrived at the pitch side wearing what he described as his thermal fishing attire. This khaki jump suit ensemble made him look like a cross between Captain Mainwaring and Captain Birds Eye. We hope for warmer weather next week.

 

Goal scorers:             No one

Man of the Match:    The GX chef

DOTD:                         Where does one start?

Umpires:                     Two in pink from GX (thanks)

Big Ron Manager:      JJ

Match reporter:         Wild                       

Team:     Tim Bence, Alan Newbold, Ian Wild, Tom Wordsworth, Anand Gupta, Joe Walker, Adrian Harris, AMH, Richard Hunt, Marcus Carter, Sath Vadivale, David Haycock

 

 

 

Hamsters v. Newbury & Thatcham 4s – 6.12.14 – Match Report

Hamsters 0-4 Newbury & Thatcham

On the coldest afternoon of the season so far, this week the Hamsters had a late fixture at Thatcham. With Dick joining JJ on the injury list, Captain Carter allowed himself a return to fray and drafted in Clive to give us 12 players for the first time in a long while.

As the game commenced, it quickly became clear that a tough game was in store with Newbury playing a very attacking formation that had us frequently outnumbered at the back. This may have been something we could have absorbed and turned to our advantage if only we could have mustered some credible attacks of our own but our Mojo was very definitely not Workin’ this week. Newbury took an early lead that seemed to have a bit of Size 9 assistance, so to speak, and it took a rather impressive double save by Mr Bence to prevent a second. 0-1 at half time.

The second half saw much of the same, with the Hamsters pinned well back into their own half. Newbury went 2-0 up when Mr Bence allowed a soft shot to go through his legs. Anand had our best chance of the day when he picked a Kyle cross down the right and made a brilliant run to the back line only to then shoot high across the face of the Newbury goal.

Despite being comfortably ahead, Newbury were seeking more goals. However, Nobby was on fine form and little got past him and, on the odd occasion he was out flanked, Mr Bence was there pulling out the full range of his Bruce Grobbelaah walk-about tricks. A third Newbury goal came right at the end when a short corner strike, going well wide, hit Clive’s foot and shot back into the net. Not surprisingly, this had the umpires on the ropes for a while but a goal was finally awarded and the game ended with the Hamsters well beaten at 0-3.

After last week’s win that saw us move to the top of the table we perhaps succumbed, not for the first time, to a touch of hubris and we will need to do better next week in our last game before Christmas.

Let’s hope it’s warmer next week at least!

Goal scorers: No one
Men of the Match: Nobby, Kyle, and Mercurial Mr Bence
DOTD: Clive’s foot
Umpires: Two from Newbury (thanks)
Match reporter: Wild
Team: Tim Bence, Alan Newbold, Tom Wordsworth, Ian Wild, Anand Gupta, Adrian Harris, Joe Walker, Kyle Walker, AMH, Sat Vadivale, Marcus Carter, Clive Joyner

Hamsters v. Ramgarhia Slough 1s – 08.11.14 – Match Report

 

Hamsters 1 – 3 Ramgarhia Slough

Come, friendly bombs, and fall on Slough!” wrote Sir John Betjeman in 1937. Whilst Slough itself may be no holiday destination, Ramgarhia Slough’s base in Stoke Poges was an altogether more picturesque place: England’s green and pleasant land, indeed.

With AMH and Marianne on a tight schedule umpiring in disparate parts of the district, our hosts enquired if we would like to delay the start. “No, that’s fine, we’ll start now”, offered Joe, perhaps carried away by our unbeaten record to date. And so a 10-man Hamsters formation stated the game, with Sath temporarily taking the whistle.

Ramgarhia – a reincarnation of our old adversaries, Slough 4XI – started very strong and had the Hamsters on the back foot in the opening skirmishes. With AMH and Marianne in position, it was perhaps against the run of play that we took the lead: an AMH/ Sath move gave JJ a chance for glory, which he duly took with aplomb. Unfortunately, that was as good as it got for the first half. Thereafter, we lost the plot somewhat. Ramgarhia levelled from a scorching shot and then went ahead after Dick dribbled across his own D and uncharacteristically gifted Ramgarhia their second goal. Minutes later, the Hamsters went further behind when Wild failed to properly mark the young Slough forward who defected in, Masonesque style, a hard shot into the D making it 1-3 at half time. Were it not for a sterling performance from Mr Bence, who was on top form today, it could have been more.

After a rather brisk talking to at half time from the Captain, the Hamsters put in an altogether much-improved shift in the second half. However, unlike our opposition, whose shots were almost always on target, the Hamsters’ sights were askew, chief culprit being Jones (J) who missed two sitters. As the half progressed, the Kyle Walker YouTube Short Corner Archive was raided once more but, again, our final strikes went wide. Some of the Hamsters felt that our opposition’s challenges were at times a tad vigorous but then doubtless Ramgarhia thought the same as Sath put in several “reducers”.

With two minutes to go, we pulled a goal back from a text book move down the right: AMH’s pass down the wing found the Captain whose first time pass was picked up by Adrian at the top of the D and, to the delight of his team mates, our very own Gareth Bale made it 2-3. Straight after the push back, we were right back in the Ramgarhia D and were awarded yet another short as the final whistle went. This first short resulted in three more but, from the final one, Sath’s hard hit went wide and so ended the Hamsters four match unbeaten run.

On balance, the better team won on the day although, on the evidence of the second half, we might do better on the return fixture. Interestingly, after the game one of the Ramgarhians advised me that their team was a development side. Given that their average age appeared to be even higher than our own, one might conclude that people live to 150 in Slough.

And finally, a very big “thank you” to Marianne for joining us for her second umpiring stint of the day.

 

Goal scorers:             Jones (J), A Drain

Man of the Match:    Mr Bence

DOTDs:                        Walker (R ), Jones (J)

Umpires:                     Marianne and a Ramgarhian

Match reporter:         Wild                 

Team:     Tim Bence, Alan Newbold, Ian Wild, Tom Wordsworth, Dick Walker, Joe Walker, Kyle Walker, Adrian Harris, AMH, Marcus Carter, Sath Vadivale, Jones (J)

Hamsters v. Staines 5s – 11.10.14 – Match Report

Hamsters 5-1 Staines

 After an enforced layoff last week, the Hamsters’ first league game entailed yet another road trip, this time to Staines, a team hitherto not featured in these pages. With numbers thin on the ground, ex-captain and all round good egg, David Haycock, made a welcome return to ensure that a full compliment of 11 Hamsters were assembled. On arrival at Staines, we found our opposition in possession of a huge squad including several players who looked “rather tasty”, skills-wise that is.

In the opening minutes, Staines took the game to Oxford but, having withstood the early assault, and with AMH duly installed at right half following his delay on the Staines one-way system, the tables quickly turned. Adrian soon demonstrated that he was on top form with a series of attacking runs that cut through the Staines defence. This week, however, we also showed that we had more that one string to our attacking bow, as the Captain’s novel 3-2-3-2 formation encouraged a quick passing game that had been absent in many games of late. This dual pronged attack quickly yielded results when the Captain beat the Staines’ keeper at close range. A second goal soon followed from a strong strike by Sath. The Hamsters never make easy work of matters and we allowed Staines back into the game from a short when Mr Bence decided to clear the ball into his own net.  2-1 at half time.

At half time Coach Walker emphasised the need to keep our discipline and this was duly delivered, for in the second half our marking was excellent. A third Hamsters’ goal came from a textbook short corner strike from AMH. A forth goal was added in stylish fashion when Kyle lifted a ball over the keeper to allow Adrian to volley in. Staines were not giving up and it took some good defending from Nobby and several well timed saves from Mr Bence to maintain our advantage. Perhaps sensing the inevitable, the Staines’ captain increasingly started to resemble Harry Enfield’s Frank Doberman character (“Oi! Umpire! No!”) although whinging at probably the best away umpires we have had in a long time seemed like a desperate clutching of straws. In any event, matters were put beyond doubt when the Walker/Harris partnership found the net again, albeit this time in more conventional fashion.

So, 5-1 at the final whistle was a fine way to start our league campaign and, indeed, it is most pleasing to report on such a resounding victory. Nice work, Hamsters!

Goal scorers:             A Drain(2), Sath, Captain Carter, AMH

Man of the Match:    Adrian and, well, everyone

DOTD:                         An absent friend

Umpires:                     The Staines’ Men in Yellow (many thanks)

Match reporter:         Wild                     

Team:     Tim Bence, Alan Newbold, Ian Wild, DBH, Dick Walker, Joe Walker, Kyle Walker, Adrian Harris, AMH, Marcus Carter, Sath Vadivale,

 

 

 

Men’s Hamsters v. Bracknell 3s – 05.04.14 – Match Report

 
Oxford 0-6 Bracknell

For our penultimate game of the season, the Hamsters set forth this week for Bracknell. An easy task, one would think but the Walker Sat Nav Saga continues and this week the Abingdon Contingent seemingly went via Bristol. Before the game it seemed that our opposition were legion, leading some to think that this was not quite the side we had met before. Bracknell’s warm up looked rather serious also; Mr Bence just had a fag. Continue reading

Men’s Hamsters v. Aylesbury 4s – 22.03.14 – Match Report

 
Oxford 3-0 Aylesbury (yes, a win!)

On an unexpectedly splendid early spring afternoon, the Hamsters welcomed Aylesbury to Hamster HQ. This week our numbers had swelled owing, in part, to the very welcome return of Walker(R) after a lengthy layoff. In his pre-match talk the Captain exhorted his team to continue their improved form of recent weeks and, with our midfield talisman restored to the ranks, a good performance seemed on the cards. Continue reading